5 tips for participating in Giving Tuesday in the Czech Republic

Here's how to donate your time and/or money to people in difficult circumstances in the Czech Republic this Giving Tuesday.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.11.2021 16:31:00 (updated on 30.11.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated around the world towards helping people and communities in need of support. Starting in 2012, it is held on the first Tuesday after the American celebration of Thanksgiving, as a counterpoint to the frenzy of consumerism embodied in Black Friday, which falls around the same time of year.

The Czech Republic is currently among 75 countries running an official Giving Tuesday campaign, with the donation movement led by local people, communities, businesses, and charities. Giving Tuesday activities in the Czech Republic reportedly raised more than CZK 180 million for charitable purposes last year, with tons of clothing and food also donated to people in need.

This year the Czech Republic is reeling from the resurgence of Covid, while related economic hardships are creating tough times for many: a recent EU ranking found that 13 percent of Czech children are at risk of living in poverty, with local experts predicting this number will increase in the years to come.

Elderly people are meanwhile being hit hard by increased costs of living and social alienation brought about by the Covid crisis, and food banks are reporting record numbers of clients up and down the country.

The pandemic has also increased the number of people on the streets. According to the last census, there are almost 24,000 homeless people living in the Czech Republic. 

We've put together some tips for how and where to donate on Giving Tuesday in the Czech Republic:

Giving Tuesday platform

The official Giving Tuesday campaign allows people to make donations to numerous causes, organizing opportunities for giving and volunteering on one platform. A number of non-profits have created campaigns on the platform, ranging from helping the homeless to people with disabilities, supporting children and seniors, or contributing to environmental or animal rights campaigns. You can also do your Christmas shopping through e-shops that support social organizations.

Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder is a foundation working to improve the lives of the elderly helping them cope with the realities of aging through support in the form of counselling, care, and personal assistance.

This year, the Dárek pro Sue Ryder campaign has raised over CZK 350,000 to help provide a dignified old age for seniors in the Czech Republic. The campaign’s goal is to collect a total of CZK 583,400, and with support this Giving Tuesday they may reach this goal. Donors can choose to give any amount. CZK 1,000 can provide counselling for four seniors; CZK 2,100 provides 10 hours of personal assistance for vulnerable old people; CZK 6,000 is enough to provide rehabilitation services for 30 people, while CZK 14,700 provides 42 hours of end-of-life care.

Christmas Shoe Box

In response to recent child poverty figures announced in the Czech Republic, the Czech Evangelical Church is once again running a Christmas shoebox initiative to help poor kids and single parents. Last year, a similar activity gathered over 50,000 gifts for Czech children, and while most gifts are given by children through school partnerships, the general public can also get involved.

Collections are running until December 5, with details of collection points, the age groups for whom gifts are needed, and more available at www.krabiceodbot.cz. As well as providing real gifts, people can also donate money online to provide long-term help in the form of tutoring, pre-school preparation, and leisure activities for kids in foster families, orphanages, and those living in social exclusion.

Food Banks

The economic impact of the Covid crisis has yet to become completely clear, but rising living costs and inflation are already causing significant problems for many. In this context, it’s no surprise that food banks up and down the country have seen record numbers of clients in recent times.

The autumn round of the Food Collection (Sbirka Potravin) took place in stores on November 20, but up until Nov. 30, food and drugstore items can also be donated through online purchases made through Košík.cz,  Rohlík.cz , and iTesco. Canned food, baby food, dried soup mixes, cooking oil, rice, pasta, and children's toiletries are the foods that organizers say help most. 

Food collected from these drives goes to food banks around the Czech Republic. In Prague, the food bank for the Central Bohemian Region hands out food packages for more than 2,000 people, with two dispensing points in Zdiby and Vršovice. These are among fifteen such food banks in the country, and a nationwide fundraiser run once or twice a year only covers demand for about a quarter of the year. As such, food banks are dependent on regular financial donations.

Individuals can sign up to volunteer or donate to the Prague and Central Bohemia food bank here.

People In Need

People In Need is a global charity organization with its roots firmly in the Czech Republic. Alongside crisis aid work undertaken all over the world, People In Need also provides extensive social support to the disadvantaged in the Czech Republic, with services throughout the country including counseling, debt advice and much more. The organization is also currently working to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on children by providing tutoring for those who have been left unable to attend school.

People In Need offers various donation options. Regular contributions are complemented by support from the UN, but one-off donations are also possible. Givers meanwhile have the option to buy specific items through "gift certificates," with options including a goat, twenty chickens, a hoe and spade or 20,000 liters of drinking water. To find out all the options visit the People In Need website.

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